... fully lives up to its name as this exciting, engrossing mystery has more than one genuine gut punch in store for the reader as it enters some of the darkest, most painful and sordid territory that Margolin has broached in this series thus far. Arguably the most disturbing of the Robin Lockwood stories, it is also the most intriguing and certainly the hardest to put down! ... Each book in this series is excellent, but The Darkest Place is on an entirely different level and further elevates the entire Robin Lockwood series.
... you won’t be disappointed ... Margolin designs Marjorie’s situation to be almost perfect, and so not to be a spoiler, let’s just say that justice is served in the end ... Margolin is a wizard who creates a story that brings all the issues to a neatly trimmed head. It’s a fast read, one that is hard to put down, ergo the two-day time frame from beginning to end.
... the novel is so tedious that reading it is a chore ... The writing is clear but often drab and graceless. Except for Lockwood, the characters are not well developed. Minor characters, including some who appear only once, are pointlessly described in detail. The courtroom scenes are annoyingly repetitious, regurgitating details that were disclosed earlier in the text. The dialogue rarely resembles the way real people talk, the voices of police detectives, lawyers, expert witnesses, and thugs so similar that speakers are indistinguishable without authorial attributions ... The author, whose 25 previous thrillers have sometimes made The New York Times bestseller list, does too much telling and not enough showing. He relates key developments in a ponderous, droning narrative instead of developing scenes that could bring the story alive for the reader. He does this even when revealing the depravity of the villain of the piece in the book’s closing moments.
This novel is almost diabolical in its complexity, and we are constantly being hit with one surprising, what-the-hell-is-going-on-here moment after another. Pairing up two of Margolin’s most interesting characters, series lead Lockwood and the cool, calculating Marjorie Loman, this is not only the best in this series, but one of Margolin’s best novels, period.
... mundane ... Slow-moving courtroom scenes in Elk Grove and in Oregon simply regurgitate the uninspired plot points. The fully rounded Robin appeals, but other characters come across as caricatures. Margolin has done better.